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11/24/2004



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

CN, UP join Class Is' growing co-production pact crowd



The Class Is continue to forge co-production agreements to share routes, improve service and expand capacity without spending capital dollars. The latest case in point: Canadian National Railway Co. and Union Pacific Railroad. Today, the railroads announced they reached a routing protocol agreement to streamline their interchanges and reduce congestion in Chicago.

During the next three months, the railroads plan to gradually direct traffic flows through the most efficient interchange locations to improve transit times and asset utilization.

"With the significant amount of North American rail freight travelling over more than one carrier, we work continually with our rail partners to find new and innovative ways to improve customer service and rail efficiency," said James Foote, CN executive vice president of sales and marketing, in a prepared statement. "This routing protocol with UP will help to expedite shipments, generate more system capacity, improve equipment cycles and help control costs."

The plan will affect CN/UP interchange points in Chicago and Salem, Ill.; Superior, Wis.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Baton Rouge, La. A Burlington Northern Santa Fe interchange in Vancouver, British Columbia, also will be affected.

Traffic moving between Western Canada and Texas will be consolidated and interchanged in Superior to avoid Chicago and reduce handlings; traffic between Texas and Arkansas will move in a run-through service to Salem instead of Chicago; and traffic moving between eastern Canada and the south-central U.S. will be interchanged in Memphis to avoid the Windy City.

"This agreement with CN will help to improve traffic flows and network fluidity, permit better planning and increase our ability to make the best use of our system," said UP EVP of Marketing and Sales Jack Koraleski.

Since June, a number of Class I co-production agreements have been announced, including Canadian Pacific Railway's and Norfolk Southern Railway's plan to exchange trackage rights, and share freight hauls and yard operations in the U.S. Northeast; CPR's, CN's and NS' routing deal in eastern Canada and the Northeast; and CPR's and CN's pacts affecting Port of Vancouver and Ontario traffic.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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